The most telling thing about Matt Taibbi’s Twitter Files release at Elon Musk’s behest was not so much what was or wasn’t salacious about internal Twitter communications involving their decision to block the New York Post’s exposé on Hunter Biden’s laptop. It was the reaction from mainstream journalists for Comcast/NBC Universal and Conde Nast, many of whom claimed Taibbi was doing “PR” for the billionaire Musk.
Musk said in a Twitter Spaces Q&A that he is not overseeing the release, and had the information turned over to Taibbi and former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss, handing them the reins and allowing them to decide what they believed to be newsworthy or not.
We shouldn’t be asking why it took new Twitter ownership, two independent journalists and almost two full years to get the truth behind the censoring of the New York Post’s Twitter account and accurate reporting. We should be wondering why none of the supposed journalists at outlets such as NBC, Politico, the New York Times or the Washington Post were interested in uncovering it.
Lots of reporters have been whiling away the hours criticizing Taibbi on Twitter, rather than doing actual journalism as it pertains to Twitter’s new direction, while their friends and sources are escorted out of the Twitter’s headquarters.
One long rumored action by Twitter employees was confirmed by Taibbi: that former head of trust and safety Yoel Roth, and former head of legal Vijaya Gadde backed and executed the decision to stop the New York Post’s story and effectively lock their account. The fact that the story came so close to the election and involved the controversial son of Joe Biden played a large role in this call.
It’s noteworthy that Gadde herself was appointed by the Biden administration to an advisory board role to help shape the Department of Homeland Security’s “misinformation and disinformation policy” as it attempted to form a group behind closed doors. Though it appears at this time that neither US intelligence services, nor the Biden campaign coordinated with Twitter to block the Hunter Biden laptop story, Gadde’s proximity to the Biden administration itself post-controversy cannot be ignored.
Also noteworthy was that neither Roth nor Gadde alerted Jack Dorsey about their decision, and that Dorsey appeared to push back on several decisions regarding account-banning on the basis of hacked information or disinformation. Twitter’s internal discussions show a leaderless, vision-free company devolving into an activist tool wielded by its own progressive employees.
Washington Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross noted the involvement of Jim Baker in advising on the decision to stop the Post’s story from spreading. Ross tweeted, “Most significant piece so far imo. Jim Baker, who handled the phony Steele dossier as FBI general counsel, supported censorship of the Hunter laptop story even though he was uncertain where the info came from.” We don’t know if Baker played a role in helping to disseminate a letter saying that over fifty US intelligence officials believed the laptop story could be part of a “Russian disinformation” campaign, a letter pushed by Joe Biden himself and future White House press secretary Jen Psaki. We now know that is not the case.
Musk and Taibbi have promised more post-2020 election internal communications to come, including those about the possibility of banning, boosting and de-boosting of accounts by the political discretions of Twitter employees. While there doesn’t appear to be some massive collusion between the Biden campaign and Twitter on the New York Post story, the censoring of an accurate news story should have every journalist standing at attention. Yet most chose, and still choose, to simply look the other way.